Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies: Perfection

Depending on how long you’ve been following Smart Cookie, you might be asking yourself, “Wasn’t Smart Cookie’s first post on Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies?” Allow me to clear up the confusion: Yes. Yes it was. This is the exact same recipe from my very first post.

So why is it making an encore appearance? There are two reasons. First of all, that was my first ever post on Smart Cookie. I had no followers, no fans, no little cookies. I believe this recipe did not get the exposure it deserves. And that brings us to my second reason for reposting it.

These chocolate chip cookies are what I consider to be perfect. Now, I know there are approximately 4.4 million chocolate chip recipes out there, at least 25 percent of which that claim to be “the best.” (Those are not legitimate statistics at all). I am also aware that everyone has a different ideal when it comes to chocolate chip cookies. Some people like them thin; others like them thick. Some people like them chewy; others like them crisp. Some enjoy deep, dark chocolate chips; some enjoy sweet milk chocolate. Therefore, I won’t pretend that these are the world’s idea of the best, most perfect cookies; those do not exist. There cannot be a perfect chocolate chip cookie when there is no universal definition of perfection. However, these cookies are my absolute favorite, everything I’ve ever wanted in a chocolate chipper, and I’m pretty positive you’ll feel the same. So far, everyone who tried them has agreed. So that’s something, right?

I have never had a cookie so delicious, and I’ve tried a lot of chocolate chip cookies. These are so thick and chewy that you may need to pinch yourself in order to believe they’re real. Too many times have I made homemade chocolate chippers that come out thin and flat. If those cookies are like the shallow end of a pool, then these cookies are like the deep end. They’re a mile-thick, and they mean business. Chewy and delicious business, that is.

When it comes to cookies, I like them soft and chewy. Crunchy/crispy cookies don’t do it for me. This is another reason why I find this recipe so sublime. The cookies bake up with that slightly crisp outer radius that gives way to an impossible chewy interior. The flavor of the cookie itself is delicious, good enough to eat even without the chocolate chips. But why would you ever do that?

My crowning touch to these perfect, chewy little treats is the addition of chocolate chunks. Allow me to elaborate: chunks = CHUNKTASTIC. They provide an unreal chocolate impact with each bite that chips alone just can’t give you. Moreover, I use milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet or dark. This is something you can change to suit your preference, but I LOVE milk chocolate. I never understood why, no matter what, recipes always use semi-sweet. Why does baking mean you can’t use milk chocolate? It doesn’t. You should use whatever chocolate you love most. I am a milk chocolate fanatic, and it makes these cookies all the more indulgent.

I know that you’ve probably tried about 200 chocolate chip recipes in your lifetime (another legitimate statistic), but I urge you to try just one more. I have found my chocolate chip cookie euphoria, and my life has changed forever as a result. If you like thick, chewy, chocolatey, indulgent cookies, then you will find true love in this recipe. There is nothing quite as magical as a perfect, delicious chocolate chip cookie (except perhaps the aroma produced by baking some).

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. I know the method for forming the cookie dough seems unorthodox, and possibly unnecessary, but you must not skip it. This method is partially responsible for the thick texture that results. I’ve seen people cut it out of the recipe before, and that’s just silly. It’s not like it requires tons of extra effort; it’s no different then rolling the dough into a ball. Trust the recipe, my little cookies.
  2. As mentioned above, you could use dark chocolate instead of milk, if you prefer. However, I don’t recommend semi-sweet. Semi-sweet chocolate is like fake chocolate in my book.
  3. This cookie recipe is a great base for add-ins. For example, my Double Chocolate Twix Cookies use this recipe plus chopped up Twix, and my White Chocolate-Macadamia Cookies use light instead of dark brown sugar, white chocolate instead of milk, and some additional macadamia nuts.
  4. Parchment paper is a cookie’s best friend. It makes cookie-removal perfect every time; you’ll never see a sad broken cookie again. There’s nothing quite as depressing as witnessing an unfortunate cookie’s inevitable split when half of it gets left behind on the tray.
  5. I am obsessed with warm cookie fresh from the oven. The problem is, that effect disappears as the cookies cool. What’s my simple solution? I love to pop cookies in the microwave for about 10 seconds so they get warm and gooey all over again. It’s like having them fresh from the oven every single time.
  6. The key to delectably chewy cookies is to not overbake! This is crucial for achieving the ideal texture. I’ve found pulling the cookies before I actually think they should be pulled to be most successful.
  7. Don’t be afraid to make ’em big! The bigger the cookies, the thicker they get.
  8. Most people that complain these didn’t turn out thick did not chill the dough long enough.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Baking Illustrated

Makes about 18 large cookies

  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 4.4-oz. milk or dark chocolate bar, chopped into chunks (equals about 1 cup of chunks)
  • 1/2 cup additional milk, dark, or semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients while beating at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips and chunks to taste. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours before continuing. Do not skip the full chilling time or you will not have thick cookies.

3. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Roll a 1/3 cup of the dough into a ball.

4a. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves.

4b. Rotate the halves 45 degrees.
4c. With jagged surfaces facing up (as pictured above), join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface.

4d. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart. If you have time in between forming cookies while other cookies are baking, put the dough back in the fridge so it stays cool.

5. Bake until the cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the outer edges yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 12 to 15 minutes [checking after 10 min]. Do not overbake; this is crucial for chewy cookies! Remove from oven and cool the cookies on the sheet for one minute. Transfer the cookies from the baking sheets to a cooling rack with a spatula.

Behold: chocolate chip heaven!

Posted in Candy, Cookies, Dessert, Holiday, How-To, Snacks, The Smart Cookie Cook and tagged , , , , .

Colleen Bierstine


  1. Mmm… looks delicious and delectable… as always! Oh, and most people probably didn’t notice this, because obviously it’s not the eye-catching part of the pictures, but i absolutely LOVE your nails in the 3rd and 4th pics. Cute!
    -Haleigh <3 :)

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  4. I followed the recipe step by step and did everything exactly as it said to do it. Unfortunately my cookies turned out super flat and they all merged into one giant cookie on my cookie sheet. I read that if you mix in melted butter not enough air gets into the mixture which can result in very flat cookies, so I’m assuming this was the problem. The cookies were still delicious, but I intend on trying again for cookies that look like the ones in the picture! Thanks :)

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  8. Another day, another failed choc chip cookie recipe. Once again, these deflated as soon as they came out of the oven and were flat as a tack. The search for thick and chewy continues….

  9. I loved when I found this recipe but after making them they seemed to be to buttery. However they did get thick which was the first for me. I followed your steps exactly but I left the batter in fridge for a few hours so not sure if that was my problem. What are your thoughts?

        • That’s strange. I’ve made this recipe at least a dozen times, and I’ve never had that problem. It’s actually a very popular recipe on the web, and I haven’t heard of others having the “buttery” issue. My only guess is that you may have accidentally used too much butter, or perhaps not enough flour.

          • That was my misstep, namely not adding enough flour. Unfortunately, I miscalculated the amount of flour I had on hand and was about 1/4 cup short. HUGE difference as you can imagine.

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  11. i’ve just tried your recipe, it was freaking awesome, I’ve added a whole slab of cadbury’s milk chocolate bar and 1 cup of chocolate chips instead of 1/2! sooooooo chocolatey, sooooooo chewy, SOOOOO GOOD! thank you! 😀
    But i’m wondering, what kinda ‘dark brown sugar’ do you use? I used billington’s dark brown molasses sugar, and my cookie dough was too brown ): like waaaay too brown.

    can it be replaced by light brown molasses sugar?

    hope to hear from you soon!

    Eloise (Singapore)

  12. It says 1 1/2 sticks of melted butter, and cooled until warm – does that mean the butter should be fully melted before mixing with other ingredients?
    The first batch I made was perfect and every other one I made they go flat as soon as they come out of the oven, wondering if it’s because the butter shouldn’t be fully melted before mixing???

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  14. The trick to Chocolate Chip Cookies, is not to over mix the batter. The chilling is also very important but if you over mix the cookies will be flat no matter how long you chill. Hope this helps.

  15. Hi! I’m about to try this recipe, and I have a couple of questions: 1) If I have all-purpose flour that contains baking powder would it still be wise to add baking soda?, 2) Will sea salt be ok?


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  20. Your cookies are my all time favorite no chocolate chip cookie I have ever made before compares to the thick and chewy goodness your cookies give!
    this recipe is going in my recipe book! yum! thank you so much for helping me find the perfect chocolate chip cookie! :)

  21. Thanks! I just didn’t know if I had to compensate somehow for the oats perhaps soaking up moisture etc.

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